Spotlight on Local Creativity: A Conversation with Lydia Lieblich, Wool Food, Delta, BC

Spotlight on Local Creativity: A Conversation with Lydia Lieblich, Wool Food, Delta, BC
Image of local maker Lydia Lieblich, Delta, BC

In a world where mass production dominates, Kinder Books takes pride in championing the distinctive voices of local makers.

Our commitment to supporting local makers is fueled by a desire to celebrate diverse perspectives, foster community connections, promote sustainable practices, preserve artisanal craftsmanship, and, boost local economies.

Handmade items carry the soulful imprint of their creators, weaving a narrative of craftsmanship, passion, and a dedication to the art of creating something truly unique.

Today, we sit down with Lydia Lieblich of Wool Food, a gifted artisan whose creations grace the shelves of Kinder Books.

  1. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got started with Wool Food?

    I am a stay at home mother of four children. I manage our busy lives here in Delta. I started sewing felt food about 16 years ago with my first baby. I didn't want my children to have plastic toys and in my search for better toys learned about felt food and sewed many items for my daughter. But it wasn't until about 6 years ago when I took this hobby to the next level and started Wool Food and sold my creations at craft markets. Eventually, I sold my felt food at a local farm and then online and now in a local independent book store. 

  2. What products does Wool Food offer, and what makes them unique? How would you describe the mission and values of Wool Food?

    Wool Food is a collection of hand stitched felt food - fruits, vegetables, berries and baked goods such as cupcakes and cookies. I only use 100% merino wool felt for my products because it is the highest quality felt that has many enduring properties that make it the best for play time for many years. The felt that I use are certified for toys. Not only that, but this wool is natural and sustainable. I see my felt food as being the perfect soft toy for educational and imaginative play.

  3. Could you walk us through the process of creating one of your products from start to finish?

    Over the years I have perfected my templates for each product. It all starts with using this template to trace out each shape onto the wool felt and then I cut it out by hand. I usually cut out a large number at once. Then I sew each piece together, also by hand. There is no machine sewing in Wool Food! Then I stuff them and put on the finishing touches which could be the stem or sprinkles on a cupcake. I usually sew batches of about 5 at a time. It takes anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 and half hours to make one item.

  4. How does Wool Food approach sustainability in its products and practices?

    I only use 100% wool felt. No blends or eco felt. This means that the felt is 100% natural and sustainable. Its natural qualities make it highly durable, resists soiling and is flame retardant, anti-bacterial and hypoallergenic. I also practice zero waste management. All my scrap wool felt and cut thread are incorporated into the stuffing of the felt food and I reuse paper packaging material for shipping out products.

  5. How important is local support to Wool Food, and do you collaborate with other local businesses or artisans?

    If it wasn't for local support, I wouldn't have been able to turn my hobby into a small business. I spent many years at local craft markets and then turned to local consignments. Wool Food has been selling at Emma Lea Farms in Ladner every fall for the past 5 years. It was a natural progression to sell fruits and vegetables at a farm, even if they are not real! This collaboration has been a great success and I love hearing from my customers who have bought from the farm. I also have repeat customers in the educational field. Several kindergarten teachers have purchased Wool Food for their classrooms and a nearby preschool program not only encourages play with my Wool Food in the classroom, but also promotes them to the parents for play at home. My newest collaboration is with Kinder Books. It has been an amazing experience to have my products in a store and to make them available to parents and other educators. I feel that Kinder Books shares in my values for high quality products and they are great supporters for local artisans.

More info: @woolfoodemh




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